It was the science news story heard round the world: a strongly supported study that may have isolated one of the causes of Crohn’s Disease.
The answer may be related to some common fungi which appear to wreak the system wide havoc that Crohn’s sufferers know all too well:
“Most of the studies that have looked at this disease looked at bacteria only,” the study’s senior author, Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, told CBS News. “We looked at both bacteria and fungi because it is very well known that these organisms both live in our body and definitely interact with one another. So to look at bacteria alone, we didn’t really have the full story.”
The fungus in question, Candida tropicalis, is thought to interact with two kinds of bacteria – Serratia marcescens and E. Coli – to create some of the telltale distress of Crohn’s Disease. But the actual mechanisms are still poorly understood, and the evidence to date is a correlation and not yet proven as causal.
Still, this is a breakthrough nonetheless – one which could open up new avenues of study for Crohn’s Disease and related chronic ailments of the digestive system.